from crypto-tales department
If you’re in the IT industry like me and you meet someone talking about using Norton or Symantec antivirus software like I sometimes do, this usually sends you looking up your calendar to check what year we are. are. The once-dominant a / v provider in the space has since built a reputation as bloated software that’s mostly good at shutting down your computer. Whether or not this reputation is earned, the company has also had issues in the past with users claiming that they cannot completely remove Norton software while attempting to uninstall. So a recent turbulent past is the point.
Which makes Norton the ideal antivirus company to roll out an update to its Norton 360 platform to enable customers to use Ethereum with its software!
What is Norton Crypto?
Norton Crypto is a feature available in Norton 360 that you can use to mine cryptocurrency when your PC is idle. Currently, Norton Crypto is limited to users with devices that meet the system requirements.
Now the FAQ has, as a second bullet, a notification that this is all opt-in … but I’m 99% sure it wasn’t there when I first viewed it. (Editor’s Note: Effectively, Wayback Machine shows that the page did not say originally that it was only an opt-in – although he also does not say that it is only an opt-out). Shame on me that I didn’t take a screenshot to be sure, but there were a lot of people on Twitter who read it and took it all as sneaky and opt-out.
It’s fucking wild. Norton “Antivirus” now sneakily installs cryptomining software on your computer, then SKIMS A COMMISSION. https://t.co/6s2otyCd78
– Cory Doctorow (@doctorow) January 4, 2022
Now about that cut Doctorow is referring to. The FAQ notes that there is no software license fee required to use this feature. It is included in your Norton 360 subscription. However, Norton also takes a 15% discount on all cryptocurrencies mined by the user’s computer. Twitter had a lot to say about it as well. Some see it primarily as a free cash grab by Norton, getting a 15% discount when almost all of the mining work is done on its customers’ computers. Others have pointed out that, based on the price of Ethereum, projections of current mining rates and the cost of energy … keep an otherwise idle machine that spends GPU cycles to mine crypto.
And still others have pointed out that there is already complaints from platform users about, you guessed it, a convoluted process for uninstall functionality from their computers.
However, according to maxius and other users, there is no way to completely remove the program, and you actually have to dig into NCrypt.exe in your computer’s directory to remove it.
It might not seem like a big deal, but Norton has a difficult relationship with its user base, and the company has experienced controversy in the past over poor transparency and not completely removing files when uninstalling.
So in summary, Norton proudly announced that it was adding a feature that allows users to reuse antivirus software to mine cryptocurrency, which probably wasn’t clearly labeled as a signup feature, in order to reduce by 15% his own client. base when used and that it was difficult to actually uninstall if a customer wants to get rid of it.
I’ll at least give this to Norton: it’s all very branded.
Thanks for reading this Techdirt post. With so much competing for attention these days, we really appreciate your giving us your time. We work hard every day to bring quality content to our community.
Techdirt is one of the few media that is still truly independent. We don’t have a giant company behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, at a time when advertisers are less and less interested in sponsoring small independent sites – especially a site like ours that does. does not want to put his finger on his reports. and analysis.
While other websites have resorted to pay walls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying / intrusive advertising, we’ve always kept Techdirt open and accessible to everyone. But to continue this way, we need your support. We offer our readers a variety of ways to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool products – and every little bit counts. Thank you.
–The Techdirt team
Filed Under: cryptomining, ethereum, mining, norton 260, norton crypto, opt-in, opt-out, skimming